TALES FROM HOME - Chapter Twelve
Throughout the day, the happy little house had been filled with delight. Hearing the scritch-scratch sound of the hoe in the garden outside the backdoor and the happy shouts of children working hard at being children had left the house filled with wonder. The tickling scrub of cool water making the house’s kitchen shine left the house filled with pride. And if houses could actually laugh, the gurgle of fresh, cool water gushing through the old red pump into the chipped white kitchen sink would have made it giggle in delight.
Sometimes in our lives, though, when we have gone through a long period of sadness, happiness feels like it might be a trick. Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking sad things just so we don’t feel too hurt when the bad things come again. We so strongly convince ourselves that dreadful things are just around the corner, we allow our joy to fade away. We become afraid.
And often fearful hearts experience worries and doubts.
The happy little house began to suffer those feelings, too.
Remembering earlier days when waiting for someone to return was the house’s only pastime, the little house began to push some of the happiness aside.
“Soon these children will head off on their way and forget all about me,” the little house thought. “Soon I will be empty and unloved again and no one will care whether I collapse into a heap of boards and bricks or not!”
Sometimes when we get on the worry train, it is hard to find a way off the tracks so we continue our journey to even more terrible possibilities.
Even though the sky was cloudless and blue, the little house recalled days when it had been filled with dark, threatening clouds and menacing thunder and lightning.
“When storms come I won’t be able to protect the children,” the little house fretted.
Even though the trees in the little woods stood straight and green, the little house summoned up days when smoke had rolled across the hillside and the scent of burning forest fires had perfumed the air with destruction and worry.
“When those fires come I won’t be able to save the children from harm,” the little house fussed.
And even though the children’s happiness and sense of adventure surrounded the little house inside and out, the little house worried about the day when…
“Stop!” the little house commanded itself.
“Stop fretting. Stop fussing. Stop imagining horrible things! Right now I am happy and happy is sometimes hard to find. Right now I will just let myself be happy.”
And if houses could exhale in relief, our little house would have done so just then.
To be continued on Tuesday, July 13.
(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
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